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Research Explores the Effects of Stem Cell Source and Patient Age on Stem Cell Transplantation Outcomes
Date:12/7/2008

y found that the outcomes of adults over the age of 65 undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes were similar to younger adults even after adjusting for multiple risk factors. The researchers concluded that age alone should not be a limiting factor for proceeding to allogeneic stem cell transplantation in these patients.

While stem cell transplantation remains one of the best treatment options for increasing overall survival and a possible cure for patients with acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, transplants generally are not given to patients over the age of 65 because of concerns about extreme toxicity and poor outcomes. Over the past few years, non-myeloablative transplants that require smaller and safer doses of chemotherapy and radiation have allowed stem cell transplants to be conducted in older individuals or other patients considered too weak to withstand conventional stem cell treatment regimens.

To better study age as a predictor of outcome in patients receiving stem cell transplants, data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) on 565 patients with acute myeloid leukemia and 551 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes were retrospectively analyzed for transplant-related mortality, engraftment, incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease, leukemia-free survival, and overall survival. Outcome data gathered from 1995 to 2005 were stratified into four groups by patient age for comparison: ages 40 to 54, 54 to 59, 60 to 64, and 65 and older.

The analysis found that there was no statistically significant difference in transplant-related mortality across age groups, and no overall difference in the occurrence of acute graft-versus-host disease (31-35 percent at 100 days) or chronic graft-versus-host disease (36-53 percent at two years). Rates of relap
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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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